Published: Thu, November 23, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Ronan O'Gara to swap Racing 92 for Crusaders coaching role

Ronan O'Gara to swap Racing 92 for Crusaders coaching role

Statements released by the Crusaders and Racing confirmed O'Gara would be released at the end of December.

A matter of hours after French club Racing granted O'Gara an early release, the Crusaders confirmed his signing on what's thought to be a two-year deal.

O'Gara could be the first of several high-profile departures from Racing 92 with 35-year-old World Cup-winning New Zealander Dan Carter rumoured to be leaving next year, possibly heading for Japan.

Ronan O'Gara has been an assistant coach at Racing 92 since 2013. "So to coach in New Zealand - for the current Super Rugby champions - is an enticing prospect for any coach", O'Gara said in a statement.

The move follows weeks of speculation that the reigning Super Rugby champions had offered an initial two-year contract for him to become assistant head coach to Scott Robertson.

He said the opportunity to continue his coaching career in New Zealand and work under Crusaders coach Scott Robertson was too good to refuse.

Ronan O'Gara played 128 games for Ireland
Ronan O'Gara played 128 games for Ireland

O'Gara also added his gratitude to racing for granting him the early release.

"Ronan O'Gara is one of rugby's global superstars".

O'Gara will join the defensive coaching staff at the Christchurch-based Crusaders, who won their eighth Super Rugby title in July. "We believe that Ronan is the right fit for this team and we can not wait to have him over here working with us and contributing to our success in the season ahead". "With our coaching group and playing squad now complete, I can't wait to get this 2018 season underway".

Ireland's all-time leading points scorer, Ogara, played for his country from 2000-2013 and is the sixth most capped global player in the world.

O'Gara, who played 128 tests for Ireland and was a three-time tourist with the British and Irish Lions, will take up his new role on January 1.

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